Readers of my previous Obi Wan Kenobi critics know that I was a pretty harsh reviewer of the last live-action Star Wars show on Disney+.
I think I came into this series with too high expectations, and each subsequent episode has left me more and more disappointed.
So far, the problems have been manifold. From casting choices to cheap special effects to editing and directing that seem rushed and all over the place, Obi Wan came across as a half-baked effort that could have used more time in both the script and post-production department.
The show’s narrative has often rocked other, older star wars stories—of A New Hope Leia saves some of the footage from The Last Jedi. Even Leia felt like a Baby Yoda knockoff in many ways. And the first confrontation between Darth Vader and our titular hero was pretty bad, to say the least.
Other core issues in the series include:
- The whole fits badly between Revenge of the Sith and A new hope. Including Leia as a central character directly in the crosshairs of the Empire and the Inquisition – including her own father, Darth Vader – makes no sense. Her close relationship with Obi-Wan also doesn’t make sense with the message she later sends to him via R2-D2.
- Reva, the inquisitor who just got revenge on Darth Vader for his slaughter of youngsters, was a problematic villain from start to finish, including in the final episode. More on that in a moment.
- Even with a surprisingly great season (series?) finale, I’m still not entirely sure what the point of this story is other than fan service.
The season finale
It was by far the best episode of the six-episode series, although I don’t think that’s enough to justify the show’s existence. You can’t deliver a live Star Wars show that’s only good at 1/6 while the rest is mediocre at best.
That being said, it was a mostly very entertaining episode. The highlight, of course, was Vader’s rematch against Obi-Wan. “I see your strength has returned,” Darth Vader says as Obi-Wan shows off his lightsaber prowess. “But your weakness remains!”
And yes, there are no really super memorable lines in this fight. I was ready for Vader to say “Look who’s got the heights now, Obi-Wan!” when he threw it in the pit and covered it with rubble, but that would have been a bit too much on the nose.
The whole fight was pretty formidable this time around. Obi-Wan is buried but his visions of Luke and Leia bring him to life and he fights his way through and shows Force powers like he never has before, raising a fleet of rocks to rain down on Vader’s head. before absolutely destroying his former student, leaving him breathless, his helmet broken and his machines fried.
The ensuing dialogue between Anakin and Obi-Wan is also quite good. “You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker,” Vader said, his yellow eye shining inside his distorted face, “I did.”
However, I admit two mistakes:
- First off, this scene is meant to “fix” Obi-Wan’s misstep in A new hope, when the old Jedi calls Vader “Darth”. Here he is again after realizing, once and for all, that Anakin Skywalker is truly dead. He calls her “Dark” as he walks away. But given that Obi-Wan is a Jedi with knowledge of the Sith, he knows that’s not a name, not something you’d call anyone. Nor would you call the Emperor (aka Darth Sidious) Dark. It just doesn’t make sense. Rather than “fixing” the first movie, he could have just called him Vader.
- I know why Obi-Wan lets Anakin live. It wouldn’t really make sense to kill him because he’s in the original trilogy. But just in terms of the story on this show, in isolation, why doesn’t he kill him? If he’s accepted that he’s not his former friend and student, that he’s now a killer and a monster and a clear and present danger to Luke, Leia and the fledgling rebellion (not to mention himself), why not just end the bastard now? I don’t think the show does a very good job of explaining that.
Elsewhere in the show, we get Reva’s storyline resolution. The disgraced Inquisitor heads to Tatooine to find Luke. We quickly learn that she’s actually there to kill him as some sort of second-best revenge plot since she can’t get Vader. She’s assumed Luke is Vader’s child and even though Vader himself doesn’t know, I guess she thinks killing a little boy will serve as revenge enough at the end of the day.
Owen and Beru put up a fine defense – it’s going better than when the Stormtroopers attacked nine years later – but ultimately Luke has to flee into the desert where Reva tracks him down and knocks him unconscious. She is unable to do the deed, however, as it reminds her too much of Anakin killing his friends. Yeah no kidding Reva. What the hell.
This is the weaker story of the two. I think the bones of an interesting revenge tale were there all season long, but it never really came together in a very convincing way. I also don’t like that Luke and Leia have now had these great thrilling and traumatic experiences. Leia was supposed to be a protected princess. Luke always craved more excitement as if his fellow man had been totally unremarkable rather than, you know, being chased by lightsaber-wielding inquisitors.
We also had several cameos in the season finale. Palpatine shows up to chastise Vader over his obvious feelings for his former master and basically tells him to stop obsessing over Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan, meanwhile, not only meets Luke with a classic “Hello there,” but is finally able to speak with his own master’s Force Ghost, Master Qui-Gon Jinn (played by Liam Neeson).
Space hunting was the other weak link in the season finale. This, again, reminded me too much of the lousy slow chase in The Last Jedi and I find it more than stupid to see Vader’s Star Destroyer unsuccessfully chase down a single transport ship that isn’t even a fast or thrilling ship like the Millennium Falcon. I also find myself more annoyed with Leia than anything during all of her scenes.
Or maybe I still have a hard time believing this little kid is so outspoken and wise and smart. She’s supposed to be 10, but she looks like 8 tops to me. I generally hate the whole “Mary Sue” accusation that’s so often leveled at female characters, but at Obi-Wan The writing team did just that with young Leia. This episode, she comforts the poor children with her droid, as I guess their life of hardship and danger hasn’t prepared them and her pampered life in Alderaan Palace. Sigh.
So it was far from a perfect episode, but it did its best to wrap up those storylines and give us a satisfying ending for our titular hero. He’s off on a new adventure when the credits roll, lending credence to the idea that a second season could indeed happen. If so, they need to ditch Skywalkers of all types – children and dark Sith lords – and focus on Obi-Wan and other slices of the galaxy. I wouldn’t mind meeting Darth Maul or other characters from The Clone Wars make an appearance.
- Leia using the case Ben gave her as a pouch for Lola the droid is adorable. I may be annoyed with the way Leia has been portrayed and used on this show, but I can recognize an adorable moment when I see one.
- Other ideas of what Vader might have said once he had the heights: “I am higher than you, Master.” “The heights, I have them.” “Tell Yoda Vader to greet you.”
- Aunt Beru might actually be the most badass female character on this show. Owen tells her that the Inquisitor is coming to get them and she’s just like, “RIDE OR DIE BABY!” I’m more confused than ever on how the Stormtroopers beat these two in Episode IV.
- Still not a fan of the Inquisitors. Why would the Grand Inquisitor think a transport ship with a group of civilians was more important than one of the most famous and powerful Jedi living in the entire galaxy?
- The musical encores were nice at the end, but also underscored how weak the score was for this show. I can’t think of a single song, while I’m still getting The Mandalorian theme stuck in my head randomly. Like now after typing this. It is now stuck in my head. Damn it.
What did you think of Obi Wan Kenobi final episode and the season as a whole? let me know about Twitter or facebook.
Previous Obi Wan Kenobi reviews and comments: